An Asheville chef known for his fine-dining style with Appalachian and Southern-grown ingredients is setting his sights on uptown Charlotte this fall.
William Dissen, chef-owner of The Market Place, a fine-dining restaurant on Asheville’s Wall Street, plans to open Haymaker in Ascent Uptown, 225 S. Poplar St., the new apartment high-rise on Romare Bearden Park.
Haymaker will serve morning coffee, lunch and dinner with a focus on locally sourced and locally grown food, similar to The Market Place. The restaurant will have more than 150 seats, a bar and lounge, an upstairs mezzanine and an outdoor patio.
Dissen, who has been involved in sustainability initiatives, including the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs Bootcamp, is also working with Charlotte Center City Partners to include space in Romare Bearden Park for a community and restaurant garden.
Dissen has been searching for a Charlotte location for months. His partner in the restaurant is real estate developer Beau McIntosh, a longtime friend who helped convince him to open his second restaurant here.
“The food scene is amazing,” Dissen says. “The chef community is incredibly collaborative.” He thinks Charlotte is on the way to becoming “one of the great Southern food cities.”
Years ago, Dissen’s future wife lived in the Gateway Village area on West Trade Street just as Johnson & Wales University was opening. That was back when uptown mostly emptied out after 5 p.m.
“Now uptown is so vibrant,” he says. “I’ve just been blown away by the activity and the restaurants. It’s a really cool uptown now.”
While Dissen will continue to operate The Market Place, he also plans to get a home in Charlotte and spend a lot of time here.
Dissen grew up in West Virginia and interned at the Greenbrier before working at Magnolia’s and Cypress in Charleston. He took over The Market Place in 2009 from its founder, Mark Rosenstein, who was one of the pioneers of Asheville’s local-food scene. Dissen will continue to run The Market Place in addition to Haymaker.